Libyan civil war
Berbers in Libya
A horizontal tricolor of red, black and green with a white crescent and star centered on the black stripe
The red represented the blood of the Libyan people who died under the Italian fascist rule, while the green represents the era of independence, freedom and a new start for the Libyan people. The crescent and star represent the main religion of Libya which is Islam.
Being adapted to sunny and arid environment;
Being cold resistant and not resisting waterlogged;
Being not very particular about soil
Central Asian (Iran and Afghan)
Libya is bound to the north by the Mediterranean Sea, the west by Tunisia and Algeria, the southwest by Niger, the south by Chad and Sudan and to the east by Egypt. Libya lies between latitudes 19° and 34°N, and longitudes 9° and 26°E.
Libya extends over 1,759,540 square kilometers (679,362 sq mi), making it the 17th largest nation in the world by size. Libya is somewhat smaller than Indonesia in land area, and roughly the size of the US state of Alaska.
For most of Libya's territory, the dominant climate is a tropical desert climate, while the northern part is dominated by the Mediterranean subtropical climate. Along the coast, the average January temperature is about +12°C, while the average July temperature ranges from +26°C to +29°C. Throughout the rest of the territory, the average July temperature rises up to +36°C, but at night the air cools down to zero and even lower. The amount of rainfall the country receives is about 250-350 mm per year, while the Al-Akhdar Plateau gets up to 600 mm of rainfall. In some areas, there is no rain for several years running.
Main articles: Demographics of Libya and Libyan people
A map indicating the ethnic composition of Libya in 1974
Libya is a large country with a relatively small population, but the population is concentrated very narrowly along the coast. Population density is about 50 persons per km² (130/sq. mi.) in the two northern regions of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, but falls to less than one person per km² (2.6/sq. mi.) elsewhere. Ninety percent of the people live in less than 10% of the area, primarily along the coast. About 88% of the population is urban, mostly concentrated in the three largest cities, Tripoli, Benghazi and Misrata. Libya has a population of about 6.5 million, 27.7% of whom are under the age of 15. In 1984 the population was 3.6 million, an increase from the 1.54 million reported in 1964.
There are about 140 tribes and clans in Libya.Family life is important for Libyan families, the majority of which live in apartment blocks and other independent housing units, with precise modes of housing depending on their income and wealth. Although the Libyan Arabs traditionally lived nomadic lifestyles in tents, they have now settled in various towns and cities. Because of this, their old ways of life are gradually fading out. An unknown small number of Libyans still live in the desert as their families have done for centuries. Most of the population has occupations in industry and services, and a small percentage is in agriculture.
According to the World Refugee Survey 2008, published by the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, Libya hosted a population of refugees and asylum seekers numbering approximately 16,000 in 2007. Of this group, approximately 9,000 persons were from Palestine, 3,200 from Sudan, 2,500 from Somalia and 1,100 from Iraq. Libya reportedly deported thousands of illegal entrants in 2007 without giving them the opportunity to apply for asylum. Refugees faced discrimination from Libyan officials when moving in the country and seeking employment.
The original inhabitants of Libya belonged predominantly to various Berber ethnic groups; however, the long series of foreign invasions – particularly by Arabs and Turks – have had a profound and lasting influence on Libya's demographics.Today, Libyans are primarily Arab or a mixture of Arab and Berber ethnicities, or a mixture of Arab and Turkish ethnicities. Among foreign residents, the largest groups are citizens of other African nations – including North Africans (primarily Egyptians) – and Sub-Saharan Africans.In 2011, there were also an estimated 60,000 Bangladeshis, 30,000 Chinese and 30,000 Filipinos in Libya.Libya is home to a large illegal population which numbers more than one million, mostly Egyptians and Sub-Saharan Africans. Libya has a small Italian minority. Previously, there was a visible presence of Italian settlers, but many left after independence in 1947 and many more left in 1970 after the accession of Muammar Gaddafi.
The main language spoken in Libya is Arabic (the Libyan dialect) by 95% of Libyans, and Modern Standard Arabic is also the official language; the Berber languages spoken by 5% (i.e. Berber and Tuareg languages), which do not have official status, are spoken by Berbers and Tuaregs in the south part of the country beside the Arabic language. Berber speakers live above all in the Jebel Nafusa region (Tripolitania), the town of Zuwara on the coast, and the small city-oases of Ghadames and Awjila. In addition, Tuaregs speak Tamahaq, the only known Northern Tamasheq language such as Ghat, also Toubou is spoken in some pockets in Qatrun and Kufra. Italian and English are sometimes spoken in the big cities, although Italian speakers are mainly among the older generation.
By far the predominant religion in Libya is Islam with 97% of the population associating with the faith. The vast majority of Libyan Muslims adhere to Sunni Islam, which provides both a spiritual guide for individuals and a keystone for government policy, but a minority (between 5 and 10%) adhere to Ibadism (a branch of Kharijism), above all in the Jebel Nafusa and the town of Zuwara, west of Tripoli. A Libyan form of Sufism is also common in parts of the country.
Mosque in Ghadames, close to the Tunisian and Algerian border. About 97% of Libyans are followers of Islam.
Before the 1930s, the Senussi Movement was the primary Islamic movement in Libya. This was a religious revival adapted to desert life. Its zawaaya (lodges) were found in Tripolitania and Fezzan, but Senussi influence was strongest in Cyrenaica. Rescuing the region from unrest and anarchy, the Senussi movement gave the Cyrenaican tribal people a religious attachment and feelings of unity and purpose.
This Islamic movement, which was eventually destroyed by both Italian invasion and later the Gaddafi government,was very conservative and somewhat different from the Islam that exists in Libya today. Gaddafi asserted that he was a devout Muslim, and his government was taking a role in supporting Islamic institutions and in worldwide proselytising on behalf of Islam.
There are small foreign communities of Christians. Coptic Orthodox Christianity, which is the Christian Church of Egypt, is the largest and most historical Christian denomination in Libya. There are over 60,000 Egyptian Copts in Libya, as they comprise over 1% of the population.There are an estimated 40,000 Roman Catholics in Libya who are served by two Bishops, one in Tripoli (serving the Italian community) and one in Benghazi (serving the Maltese community). There is also a small Anglican community, made up mostly of African immigrant workers in Tripoli; it is part of the Anglican Diocese of Egypt. People have been arrested on suspicion of being Christian missionaries, as proselytising is illegal.
Libya was until recent times the home of one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world, dating back to at least 300 BC. In 1942 the Italian Fascist authorities set up forced labor camps south of Tripoli for the Jews, including Giado (about 3,000 Jews) and Gharyan, Jeren, and Tigrinna. In Giado some 500 Jews died of weakness, hunger, and disease. In 1942, Jews who were not in the concentration camps were heavily restricted in their economic activity and all men between 18 and 45 years were drafted for forced labor. In August 1942, Jews from Tripolitania were interned in a concentration camp at Sidi Azaz. In the three years after November 1945, more than 140 Jews were murdered, and hundreds more wounded, in a series of pogroms.By 1948, about 38,000 Jews remained in the country. Upon Libya's independence in 1951, most of the Jewish community emigrated.
Tripoli, Capital of Libya
The coastal plain of Libya was inhabited by Neolithic peoples from as early as 8000 BC.
The Afro-Asiatic ancestors of the Berber people are assumed to have spread into the area by the Late Bronze Age.
The Ancient Greeks colonized Eastern Libya and founded the city of Cyrene. Within 200 years, four more important Greek cities were established in the area that became known as Cyrenaica.
The Persian(波斯人) army of Cambyses Ⅱoverran Cyrenaica, which for the next two centuries remained under Persian or Egyptian（埃及） rule.
· By the 5th century BC
The greatest of the Phoenician colonies, Carthage, had extended its hegemony across much of North Africa, where a distinctive civilization, known as Punic, came into being.
After the fall of Carthage the Romans did not occupy immediately Tripolitania (the region around Tripoli), but left it under control of the kings of Numidia, until the coastal cities asked and obtained its protection. Ptolemy Apion, the last Greek ruler, bequeathed Cyrenaica to Rome, which formally annexed the region in 74 BC and joined it to Crete as a Roman province. As part of the Africa Nova province, Tripolitania was prosperous, and reached a golden age in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, when the city of Leptis Magna, home to the Severan dynasty, was at its height. On the other side, Cyrenaica's first Christian communities were established by the time of the Emperor Claudius but was heavily devastated during the Kitos War and almost depopulated of Greeks and Jews alike, and, although repopulated by Trajan with military colonies, from then started its decadence.
The decline of the Roman Empire saw the classical cities fall into ruin, a process hastened by the Vandals’ destructive sweep though North Africa in the 5th century. When the Empire returned (now as East Roman) as part of Justinian's reconquests of the 6th century, efforts were made to strengthen the old cities, but it was only a last gasp before they collapsed into disuse. Cyrenaica, which had remained an outpost of the Byzantine Empire during the Vandal period, also took on the characteristics of an armed camp. Unpopular Byzantine governors imposed burdensome taxation to meet military costs, while the towns and public services—including the water system—were left to decay. By the beginning of the 7th century, Byzantine control over the region was weak, Berber rebellions were becoming more frequent, and there was little to oppose Muslim invasion.
·the 7th century
In 647 an army led by Abdullah ibn saad took Tripoli from the Byzantines definitively. The Fezzan was conquered by Uqba ibn Nafi in 663. The Berber tribes of the hinterland accepted Islam, however they resisted Arab political rule.
For the next several decades, Libya was under the purview of the Umayyad(倭马亚王朝)Caliph（伊斯兰教主）of Damascus(大马士革叙利亚首都）until the Abbasids(阿巴斯王朝)overthrew the Umayyad in 750, and Libya came under the rule of Baghdad.
Libya enjoyed considerable local autonomy under the Aghlabid dynasty in 800.
By the end of the 9th century, the Shiite Fatimid (法蒂玛王朝) controlled Western Libya, and ruled the entire region in 972 and appointed Bologhine ibn ziri as governor. Ibn Ziri's Berber Zirid dynasty ultimately broke away from the Shiite Fatimids, and recognised the Sunni Abbasids(阿巴斯王朝) of Baghdad as rightful Caliphs.
In retaliation, the Fatimids brought about the migration of thousands from two troublesome Arab Bedouin tribes, the Banu Sulaym and Banu Hilal to North Africa. This act drastically altered the fabric of the Libyan countryside, and cemented the cultural and linguistic Arabization of the region. Ibn Khaldun noted that the lands ravaged by Banu Hilal invaders had become completely arid desert.
Zirid rule in Tripolitania was short-lived though, and already in 1001 the Berbers of the Banu Khazrun broke away. Tripolitania remained under their control until 1146, when the region was overtaken by the Normans of Sicily. It was not until 1159 that the Moroccan Almohad leader Abd al-Mu'min reconquered Tripoli from European rule. For the next 50 years, Tripolitania was the scene of numerous battles between the Almohad rulers and insurgents of the Banu Ghaniya. Later, a general of the Almohads, Muhammad ibn Abu Hafs, ruled Libya from 1207 to 1221 before the later establishment of a Tunisian Hafsid dynasty independent from the Almohads. The Hafsids ruled Tripolitania for nearly 300 years. By the 16th century however, the Hafsids became increasingly caught up in the power struggle between Spain and the Ottoman Empire.
After a successful invasion of Tripoli by Habsburg Spain in 1510, and its handover to the Knights of St. John, the Ottoman admiral Sinan Pasha finally took control of Libya in 1551. His successor Turgut Reis was named the Bey of Tripoli and later Pasha of Tripoli in 1556. By 1565, administrative authority as regent in Tripoli was vested in a pasha appointed directly by the sultan in Constantinople. In the 1580s, the rulers of Fezzan gave their allegiance to the sultan, and although Ottoman authority was absent in Cyrenaica, a bey was stationed in Benghazi late in the next century to act as agent of the government in Tripoli.
In time, real power came to rest with the pasha’s corps of janissaries. In 1611 the deys staged a coup against the pasha, and Dey Sulayman Safar was appointed as head of government. For the next hundred years, a series of deys effectively ruled Tripolitania. The two most important Deys were Mehmed Saqizli (r. 1631–49) and Osman Saqizli (r. 1649–72), both also Pasha, who ruled effectively the region. The latter conquered also Cyrenaica.
Lacking direction from the Ottoman government, Tripoli lapsed into a period of military anarchy during which coup followed coup and few deys survived in office more than a year. One such coup was led by Turkish officer Ahmed Karamanli. The Karamanlis ruled from 1711 until 1835 mainly in Tripolitania, but had influence in Cyrenaica and Fezzan as well by the mid-18th century. Ahmad's successors proved to be less capable than himself, however, the region's delicate balance of power allowed the Karamanli. The Libyan Civil War of 1791–1795 occurred in those years. In 1793, Turkish officer Ali Benghul deposed Hamet Karamanli and briefly restored Tripolitania to Ottoman rule. However, Hamet's brother Yusuf (r. 1795–1832) reestablished Tripolitania's independence.
In the early 19th century war broke out between the United States and Tripolitania, and a series of battles ensued in what came to be known as the First Barbary War and the Second Barbary War. By 1819, the various treaties of the Napoleonic Wars had forced the Barbary states to give up piracy almost entirely, and Tripolitania's economy began to crumble. As Yusuf weakened, factions sprung up around his three sons; civil war soon resulted. Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II sent in troops ostensibly to restore order, marking the end of both the Karamanli dynasty and an independent Tripolitania. Anyway, order was not recovered easily, and the revolt of the Libyan under Abd-El-Gelil and Gûma ben Khalifa lasted until the death of the latter in 1858. The second period of direct Ottoman rule saw administrative changes, and what seemed as greater order in the governance of the three provinces of Libya.
·Early 20th AD
After the Italo-Turkish War (1911–1912), Italy simultaneously turned the three regions into colonies. From 1912 to 1927, the territory of Libya was known as Italian North Africa. From 1927 to 1934, the territory was split into two colonies, Italian Cyrenaica and Italian Tripolitania, run by Italian governors. Some 150,000 Italians settled in Libya, constituting roughly 20% of the total population.
In 1934, Italy adopted the name "Libya" (used by the Greeks for all of North Africa, except Egypt) as the official name of the colony (made up of the three provinces of Cyrenaica, Tripolitania and Fezzan). Idris al-Mahdi as-Senussi (later King Idris I), Emir of Cyrenaica, led Libyan resistance to Italian occupation between the two world wars. Ilan Pappé estimates that between 1928 and 1932 the Italian military "killed half the Bedouin population (directly or through disease and starvation in camps)." Italian historian Emilio Gentile sets to about 50,000 the number of victims of the repression.
From 1943 to 1951, Libya was under Allied occupation. The British military administered the two former Italian Libyan provinces of Tripolitana and Cyrenaïca, while the French administered the province of Fezzan. In 1944, Idris returned from exile in Cairo but declined to resume permanent residence in Cyrenaica until the removal of some aspects of foreign control in 1947. Under the terms of the 1947 peace treaty with the Allies, Italy relinquished all claims to Libya.
On 24 December 1951, Libya declared its independence as the United Kingdom of Libya, a constitutional and hereditary monarchy under King Idris, Libya's only monarch. The discovery of significant oil reserves in 1959 and the subsequent income from petroleum sales enabled one of the world's poorest nations to establish an extremely wealthy state. Although oil drastically improved the Libyan government's finances, resentment among some factions began to build over the increased concentration of the nation's wealth in the hands of King Idris.
Aggressive & militant
Assumed a leadership role in the African Union and Arab League
Took opposed attitude towards western country
Approved of terrorism
the Human Development Index（人类发展指数) 1st
The Great Manmade River(大人工河)
On 1 September 1969, a small group of military officers led by 27-year-old army officer Muammar Gaddafi staged a coup d'état against King Idris, launching the Libyan Revolution. Gaddafi was referred to as the "Brother Leader and Guide of the Revolution" in government statements and the official Libyan press.
In 1977, Libya officially became the "Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya". Gaddafi officially passed power to the General People's Committees and henceforth claimed to be no more than a symbolic figurehead, but domestic and international critics claimed the reforms gave him virtually unlimited power. Dissidents against the new system were not tolerated, with punitive actions including capital punishment authorized by Gaddafi himself. The new "jamahiriya" governance structure he established was officially referred to as a form of direct democracy, though the government refused to publish election results.
In February 1977, Libya started delivering military supplies to Goukouni Oueddei and the People's Armed Forces in Chad. The Chadian–Libyan conflict began in earnest when Libya's support of rebel forces in northern Chad escalated into an invasion. Later that same year, Libya and Egypt fought a four-day border war that came to be known as the Libyan-Egyptian War, both nations agreed to a ceasefire under the mediation of the Algerian president Houari Boumediène. Hundreds of Libyans lost their lives in the war against Tanzania, when Gaddafi tried to save his friend Idi Amin. Gaddafi financed various other groups from anti-nuclear movements to Australian trade unions.
From 1977 onward, per capita income in the country rose to more than US $11,000, the fifth-highest in Africa, while the Human Development Index became the highest in Africa and greater than that of Saudi Arabia. This was achieved without borrowing any foreign loans, keeping Libya debt-free. The Great Manmade River was also built to allow free access to fresh water across large parts of the country. In addition, financial support was provided for university scholarships and employment programs.
Much of the country’s income from oil, which soared in the 1970s, was spent on arms purchases and on sponsoring dozens of paramilitaries and terrorist groups around the world. An airstrike failed to kill Gaddafi in 1986. Libya was finally put under United Nations sanctions after the bombing of a commercial flight killed hundreds of travellers.
Gaddafi assumed the honorific title of "King of Kings of Africa" in 2008 as part of his campaign for a United States of Africa. By the early 2010s, in addition to attempting to assume a leadership role in the African Union, Libya was also viewed as having formed closer ties with Italy, one of its former colonial rulers, than any other country in the European Union. The eastern parts of the country have been "ruined" due to Gaddafi's economic theories, according to The Economist.
Libyan civil war
• Arab Spring (Tunisia & Egypt)
• National Transitional Council (2011.2.27)
• The liberation of Libya was celebrated on 23 October 2011.
• Rebel fighters
• UN (Safeguard human rights VS Pursue their own interests)
After the Arab Spring2010movements overturned the rulers of Tunisia and Egypt, Libya experienced a full-scale revolt beginning on 17 February 2011. By 20 February, the unrest had spread to Tripoli. On 27 February 2011, the National Transitional Council was established to administer the areas of Libya under rebel control. On 10 March 2011, France became the first state to officially recognize the council as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people.
Pro-Gaddafi forces were able to respond militarily to rebel pushes in Western Libya and launched a counterattack along the coast toward Benghazi, the de facto centre of the uprising. The town of Zawiya, 48 kilometers (30 mi) from Tripoli, was bombarded by air force planes and army tanks and seized by Jamahiriya troops, "exercising a level of brutality not yet seen in the conflict."
Organs of the United Nations, including United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the United Nations Human Rights Council, condemned the crackdown as violating international law, with the latter body expelling Libya outright in an unprecedented action urged by Libya's own delegation to the UN.
On 17 March 2011 the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1973 with a 10–0 vote and five abstentions. The resolution sanctioned the establishment of a no-fly zone and the use of "all means necessary" to protect civilians within Libya. On 19 March, the first Allied act to secure the no-fly zone began when French military jets entered Libyan airspace on a reconnaissance mission heralding attacks on enemy targets.
By 22 August 2011, rebel fighters had entered Tripoli and occupied Green Square, which they renamed Martyrs' Square in honor of those killed since 17 February 2011.
The liberation of Libya was celebrated on 23 October 2011. At least 30,000 Libyans died in the civil war.
On 7 July 2012, Libyans voted in their first parliamentary elections since the end of Gaddafi's rule. On 8 August 2012, the National Transitional Council officially handed power to the wholly elected General National Congress, which is tasked with the formation of an interim government and the drafting of a new Libyan Constitution to be approved in a general referendum.
Reference : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libya
The ENI Oil Bouri DP4 in the Bouri Field
The Libyan economy depends primarily upon revenues from the oil sector, which accounts for 80% of GDP and 97% of exports. Libya holds the largest proven oil reserves in Africa and is an important contributor to the global supply of light, sweet crude. Apart from petroleum, the other natural resources are natural gas and gypsum The International Monetary Fund estimated Libya's real GDP growth at 122% in 2012 and 16.7% in 2013, after a 60% plunge in 2011.
The World Bank defines Libya as an 'Upper Middle Income Economy', along with only seven other African countries. Substantial revenues from the energy sector, coupled with a small population, give Libya one of the highest per capita GDPs in Africa. This allowed the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya state to provide an extensive level of social security, particularly in the fields of housing and education.
Libya faces many structural problems including a lack of institutions, weak governance, and chronic structural unemployment.The economy displays a lack of economic diversification and significant reliance on immigrant labour. Libya has traditionally relied on unsustainably high levels of public sector hiring to create employment. In the mid-2000s, the government employed about 70% of all national employees.Unemployment is the highest in the region at 21%, according to the latest census figures. According to an Arab League report, unemployment for women stands at 18% while for the figure for men is 21%, making Libya the only Arab country where there are more unemployed men than women.Libya has high levels of social inequality, high rates of youth unemployment and regional economic disparities. Water supply is also a problem, with some 28% of the population not having access to safe drinking water in 2000.
Pivot irrigationin Kufra, southeast Cyrenaica
Libya imports up to 90% of its cereal consumption requirements, and imports of wheat in 2012/13 was estimated at about 1 million tonnes. The 2012 wheat production was estimated at about 200,000 tonnes. The government hopes to increase food production to 800,000 tonnes of cereals by 2020. However, natural and environmental conditions limit Libya’s agricultural production potential. Before 1958, agriculture was the country’s main source of revenue, making up about 30% of GDP. With the discovery of oil in 1958, the size of the agriculture sector declined rapidly, comprising less than 5% GDP by 2005.
The country joined OPEC in 1962. Libya is not a WTO member, but negotiations for its accession started in 2004.
In the early 1980s, Libya was one of the wealthiest countries in the world; its GDP per capita was higher than some developed countries.
In the early 2000s officials of the Jamahiriya era carried out economic reforms to reintegrate Libya into the global economy. UN sanctions were lifted in September 2003, and Libya announced in December 2003 that it would abandon programs to build weapons of mass destruction. Other steps have included applying for membership of the World Trade Organization, reducing subsidies, and announcing plans for privatization. Authorities privatized more than 100 government owned companies after 2003 in industries including oil refining, tourism and real estate, of which 29 were 100% foreign owned. Many international oil companies returned to the country, including oil giants Shell and ExxonMobil. After sanctions were lifted there was a gradual increase of air traffic, and by 2005 there were 1.5 million yearly air travellers. Libya had long been a notoriously difficult country for Western tourists to visit due to stringent visa requirements.
In 2007 Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the second-eldest son of Muammar Gaddafi, was involved in a green development project called the Green Mountain Sustainable Development Area, which sought to bring tourism to Cyrene and to preserve Greek ruins in the area.
In August 2011 it was estimated that it would take at least 10 years to rebuild Libya's infrastructure. Even before the 2011 war, Libya's infrastructure was in a poor state due to "utter neglect" by Gaddafi's administration. By October 2012, the economy had recovered from the 2011 conflict, with oil production returning to near normal levels. Oil production was more than 1.6 million barrels per day before the war. By October 2012, the average oil production has surpassed 1.4 million bpd. The resumption of production was made possible thanks to the quick return of major Western companies, like Total, Eni, Repsol, Wintershall and Occidental.
Although Libya possesses nearly 1,800 kilometers of coastline and the second largest continental shelf in the Mediterranean, its waters are not particularly rich in the plankton needed to sustain highly productive fishing waters. In 1977 Libya's fishing catch stood at 4,803 tons. By 1981 it had risen to 6,418 tons--still one of the smaller national catches in the Mediterranean. Most of Libya's fishing fleet was located on the western half of its coastline, especially around Tripoli, because the country's eastern and central coasts possessed less attractive fishing grounds. Estimates in 1979 put the number of fishing boats at 325, of which 13 were trawlers; the rest were small and medium-sized boats. Approximately 1,000 to 1,200 people were thought to be professional fishermen in 1981. The government has been encouraging fishing activities and attempting to stimulate a demand for fish. In 1986 a new fishing port was under construction at Zuwarah, and numerous ice plants have been built at several coastal sites. Agreements for joint development of fishing have been signed with several countries, including Tunisia and Spain.
Sponge fishing has been monopolized by Greek fishermen who have been licensed by the Libyan government. A tiny percentage of the harvest has been obtained by Libyans using small boats and skindiving equipment from the shallow waters inshore. The Greeks have used modern equipment to exploit the deepwater beds where the best sponges lie. In an experiment begun in 1977, the government has established freshwater fish farms in several inshore locations.
Culture in Libya
Known in their native tongue as Amazigh, or "free man," ,Berbers are the indigenous inhabitants of North Africa, whose culture predominated in the region prior to the 7th century Arab invasion.Berbers are identified primarily by language but also by traditional customs and culture – such as the distinctive music and dances.
The social structure of the Berbers is tribal. A leader is appointed to command the tribe. In the Middle Ages, many women had the power to govern. However, the majority of Berber tribes currently have men as heads of the tribe.
The Berber flag -- comprised of blue, green and yellow horizontal stripes, superimposed with a red Tifinagh character symbolizing a "free man".
Berbers in Libya
Gadhafi's ideology stressed the unity of all Libyans under an Arab identity, and any efforts at Amazigh cultural expression during his rule were effectively forbidden.
Those among the country's Berber minority -- there is no reliable census data, but most estimates place it at about 10% of the population -- who attempted to promote their rights or cultural heritage would find themselves persecuted, sometimes even killed.
Berbers were unable to publicly speak or publish books in their language, Tamazight, or display symbols such as the Amazigh flag.
Bazeen is perhaps the most recognizable Libyan food there is, made of a mixture of mainly barley flour, with a little plain flour. The flour is boiled in salted water to make a hard dough, and then formed into a rounded, smooth dome placed in the middle of the dish. The sauce around the dough is made by frying chopped onions with lamb meat, adding turmeric, salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper, fenugreek, sweet paprika, and tomato paste. Potatoes can also be added. Finally,eggs
are boiled and arranged around the dome. The dish is then served with lemon and fresh or pickled chilies known as amsayar.
Couscous is the most popular national dish.For preparing this, the flour is sprinkled with oil and water and rolled into tiny grains. These grains are then steamed and served as a base for meat and potatoes. Couscous can be mixed with several types of sauces and can be consumed with a variety of meats and vegetables. Couscous can also be taken with honey and milk, especially seen during the breakfast.
Sharba contains many of the ingredients of many other Libyan dishes, including onions, tomatoes, meat (chicken or lamb), chillies, cayenne pepper, saffron, chickpeas, mint, cilantro, andparsley
Libyan tea is a thick beverage served in a small glass, often accompanied by nuts.
All alcohol is banned in Libya, in accordance with the laws of Islam.
Libyans prefer to eat at home, except on Fridays, when they enjoy family beachside picnics.
Meals are prepared by the women of the household and served to guests by the young men of the household. Food is served on long low tables, tall enough to allow guests to sit cross legged and to belly up to the edge.
Meals served in the tented society vary slightly from presentation in towns. In tented society, important guests are honored with a sacrificial slaughter of a goat or sheep. In towns, sacrifice is not as frequent because there usually is easy access to daily markets. The animal is butchered, and the flesh is boiled to form the essential ingredient of a stew to be served over couscous. Sometimes various types of pasta may be used as a substitute for couscous. The main course usually is preceded by dried dates, milk, and buttermilk. Each liquid is served in a large communal bowl. Libyans drink green tea after all meals and throughout the day.
Most traditional Libyans are devout Muslims and practice a simple and deeply personal religion. Adults follow the strictures of Islam; they pray five times a day, give alms to the poor, and fast for the month of Ramadan. There is a certain austerity to Libyan Islam shaped by the harshness of traditional life. This asceticism was reinforced by the Sanussi order, which was abolished by the Qaddafi regime for political reasons. In its place, the regime instituted fundamentalist practices with very little impact on rural life, where the Libyan version of an ascetic Islam is still practiced.
The Ulama, or religious scholars, have been upstaged by the regime, but in the countryside mosques are well attended. The folk religion of the people subscribes, in part, to a deviation from traditional Islam. In Libya, as in other parts of North Africa, the cult of saints is highly developed. There are individual living saints, marabout, whose miracles are widely reported and whose services in a curative capacity are sought. People also visit the tombs of men of reputation, seeking cures for illness, success in business, and luck in passing an examination. There are small tribes whose members are said to have inherited baraka, the quality of goodness or holiness, and minister to local people. There are also lineages who are said to be descendants of the prophet Mohammed. They are given the title of sharif.
Libya canceled bars and nightclubs are not allowed to wear miniskirts.
Invited guests, only men participated. Gifts, not to the other his wife
To avoid talking about politics, religion and other controversial issues.
A polite stranger, when approaching a camp, will pause about one hundred yards from the line of tents. A series of activities converting private into public space begins. Either one tent in the line will be vacated and converted into a guest tent, or the large tent of the oldest male will be divided down the middle to produce a guest compartment separated from the domestic section. Entertainment of guests in tented society is similar to towns. One difference in tented society is that a guest will not be asked his social identity until after the meal when the breaking of bread has placed the guest under his host's protection. This rule of sanctuary ensures that members of rival groups or those in a feuding relationship may travel the desert in relative safety.
Gender Roles and Statuses
Purdah, the custom of secluding and veiling women, is a traditional feature of Libyan cultural life. Groups of veiled women are still found in markets in the company of kinsmen but they are infrequent visitors to mosques and absent entirely from café life. Women were traditionally placed in seclusion at puberty and appear in public veiled. They are only freed from this custom at menopause. The push toward female emancipation, as exhibited in the opening of public space to women, may be repealed at any time by either domestic male prerogative or national decree. Qaddafi established a military academy for females and, occasionally, has arrived at international meetings accompanied by female bodyguards dressed in battle fatigues.
Qaddifi claims that men and women are radically different in biology and nature. His view is that the nature of woman is to nurture and her role as mother and domestic is part of a natural order.
Where social life outside of the compound may be limiting for women due to the institution of purdah, within the household, the movements of women are not constrained. All are close kin and many are descendants of a common ancestor. As such they share a common daily social life. The movements of women are not restricted within the compound and both sexes may freely enter each other's abodes